“The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival has become one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for 2012 . And it’s right here in our backyard. Literally. Because we are situated on a canal on the non-beach side of Sanibel Arms West, we have a perfect place to launch your canoe or kayak, and paddle out to the Blueway.

 

If you are not familiar with the Blueway, you will be surprised to learn what a wonderful asset it is for Southwest Florida (and Sanibel)and our visitors. It is a series of marked trails and mangrove tunnels that runs east from Sanibel and then north to Charlotte Harbor and South to the Imperial River in Collier County. It floats casually for 190 mies. Average depth is quite shallow at a few feet in depth. You don’t have to be a super athlete to enjoy portions of the Blueway. Stretches are calm and sheltered, and get you remarkably close to nature you seldom experience. You’ll pass herons, spoonbills and pelicans. You may even meet the odd manatee or porpoise. Bring along a fishing rig and cast for local flats fish. Paddle a little and coast a little.

 

Beginning paddlers also can take advantage of two-hour novice trips and 10-day adventure paddles.A visit to the Blueway website lists where to rent boats,

locate places to launch and more.  GPS coordinates also are online at the trail website. For those who can’t leave technology behind, the trail is one of few in America that has a GPSenabled smart-phone application.

 

Mark your calendar and check into Sanibel Arms West to enjoy the 7th Annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival beginning on November 1 and continuing through November 4. “